Submitted by Norm Park, Contracted Reporter for SECPSD
Estevan will need to select two new members to serve on the 10-member board of trustees for the South East Cornerstone Public School Division in the November 9 public election.
Incumbents Shari Sutter and Jim Vermeersch have stated they will not be seeking re-election as an Estevan representative at the conclusion of their terms.
One other Cornerstone trustee, Harold Laich, has also issued a statement noting he, too, will not be seeking a return to the public division’s boardroom.
All the other trustees in the division have indicated they will seek re-approval from the public in the areas they currently represent, with the exception of Elwood White who represents electors on the western side of the sprawling school division. He said last week he was still undecided. He has been their representative for the past two terms.
Weyburn representatives Melanie Sorenson and Brandon Tichkowsky said they will be seeking a return to the Cornerstone board room from their electors as will Jim Henderson in the Oxbow, Carnduff, Gainsborough region, Subdivision 3.
Kevin Keating will be looking for a return to the boardroom as well as a representative for the Bienfait, Lampman area, Subdivision 4 while Carol Flynn, the veteran board member and vice-chairwoman once again wishes to represent Subdivision 1, Rocanville, Moosomin et al.
Current chairwoman, and also a veteran board member, Audrey Trombley is seeking re-election in Subdivision 5 as a representative for the Midale and Macoun schools among others.
The school board elections are held in concert with the civic council elections. For Vermeersch though, it may not be a goodbye signal.
“I feel I can’t act as a representative for Estevan since I no longer live there. I know technically, I still could, but I feel it just wouldn’t be right. But, I may seek the nomination for Harold’s (Laich) seat seeing as how he is leaving and I now live in that area (Kenosee Lake) that he has represented.”
Laich informed the media that he no longer resides in the Subdivision 2 region (Wawota et al), so his reasoning for quitting that post was the same as Vermeersch’s in Estevan. He said it didn’t feel right to try to represent an area in which he no longer lived or worked in. He has served on the board for the past 11 years, including one term as chairman.
Sutter, who is completing her first term as an Estevan representative, said work related duties in the city as well as on their Bienfait area farm, make it difficult to give the time it requires to represent the city fairly.
“Perhaps in another four years, I can, but right now I just don’t want to do half a job. It’s not fair to the board or to Cornerstone staffers,” Sutter said.
With nominations due to be filed by October 7, there is currently one name on the public school board listing with Eric McCrimmon having filed a nomination form as a candidate for one of the two Estevan seats on the 10-member SECPSD board, according to information provided by the Estevan Mercury newspaper.